poisonousplants

Verde Mortal

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Part of an Infography project in which I had to illustrate the theme “brazilian poisonous plants”. Here I show 6 of the most common and deadly plants in Brazil, what they can do to a person, and a couple of mathematical data on the main victims of such plants.

Pencil (HB), Canson Paper, colored in Photoshop, vectors done in CorelDRAW.

Poisonous Weeds - Agrostemma githago (The Common Corncockle)

Corncockle or Agrostemma githago is a dainty pink or purple flowering plant orginially from the European wheat fields.

It was a very common weed in the 19th Century growing continuously side by side to the Wheat. It is probable that up to the 20th Century most wheat was contaminated with the pitted seeds of a Corncockle.

It is now more commonly an alien species to many countries; its sporadic growth due to imports of wheat worldwide. 

In the UK, intensive and mechanical farming has now made the growth of the weed with crops uncommon. The changes in harvesting seasons and techniques for farming, including herbicides, make Corncockle’s less familiar nowadays. 

Corncockle’s can grow up to 1 metre tall and are covered in tiny hairs. In the summer months the plant produces beautiful pink or purple flowers with delicate black lines on the petals. They can grow in various places such as fields, roadsides, railway lines and waste places.

ALL PARTS OF THE PLANT ARE POISONOUS AND CONTAIN GLYCOSIDE GITHAGIN AND AGROSTEMNIC ACID.

However they have also been used in folk medicine to treat parasites dispute their toxic attributes.

Symptoms of ingestion include severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, dizziness, weakness and slow breathing.  

Poisonous Weeds - Rumex obtusifolius (Broadleaf Dock)

A Broadleaf Dock is a perennial weed native to Europe, however now can be found in America too. It is most commonly known for its treatment against nettle stings. It can be easily recognised by its large, red stemmed leaves.

The “milk” of a Dock leaf contains tannins & oxalic acid which is an astringent (shrinks and constricts body tissue). It is commonly believed that vigorously rubbing a Dock leaf on a nettle rash will cure the sting. Conveniently Docks are often found growing nearby to nettles. 

Broadleaf docks are considered poisonous. It is listed as an “injurious weed” under the UK Weeds Act 1959 as it causes sickness in livestock. The “milk” from the plant can also cause dermatitis. 

It is a difficult weed to eradicate as they have deep roots reaching up to 5 feet below soil. The seeds of a Dock are easily dispersed too, travelling by wind & water. The seeds toothed wing structures allow them to cling to animals & machinery.